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Inbox: Which prospect would you rather have?

@JimCallisMLB
March 11, 2020

It has been seven months since the last Prospect Showdown edition of the Pipeline Inbox, which is far too long. So let's get to it ...

It has been seven months since the last Prospect Showdown edition of the Pipeline Inbox, which is far too long. So let's get to it ...

Gore (Padres) and Luzardo (Athletics) are the top two left-handed pitching prospects in the game, and you could defensibly argue that they're the top two overall pitching prospects in the game as well. Luzardo has a little more on his fastball and one of the best changeups in the Minors, while Gore has superior breaking pitches to go with his plus heater and changeup.

Everyone knows how much I love Gore, and I'm picking him here for two reasons. He misses more bats and he has a cleaner medical history than Luzardo, who had Tommy John surgery as a high school senior and lost much of 2019 to shoulder issues.

After dealing with the two best left-handers, let's tackle the two best right-handers. Pearson (Blue Jays) has the nastiest fastball in the Minors and can run it up to 104 mph, while Mize (Tigers) has an elite pitch of his own in a splitter that he commands extraordinarily well. Their sliders are of similar quality, but the separator for me is Mize's ability to locate his pitches with precision.

Witt (Royals) and Abrams (Padres) were the first two shortstops taken in the 2019 Draft, selected second and sixth overall. Abrams has top-of-the-scale speed and is a better pure hitter, while Witt has tremendous raw power and plus speed. They could provide similar overall offensive value in different ways, and I'll opt for Witt because he's the better defender and a definite shortstop.

I struggle to decide between baseball's top two third-base prospects, and my answer might change if I contemplate this question again next week. For now, I'll take Bohm (Phillies) because there's more impact in his bat. I also can make a case for Hayes (Pirates), however, because he has some untapped power and is a potential Gold Glove third baseman, while Bohm may wind up at first base.

A.J. Puk (Athletics) went sixth overall and was the first left-hander picked in the 2016 Draft, while fellow southpaw Nick Lodolo (Reds) went seventh overall and was the first pitcher chosen in the 2019 Draft. Puk has bigger stuff, including a fastball that reaches 99 mph and a wipeout slider. But Lodolo has a deeper repertoire, more feel for pitching and a better track record of health, so I like his chances to make a difference as a starter.

Great question about two small-school outfielders who had huge pro debuts coming out of the 2019 Draft, Burdick (Marlins) as a third-rounder out of Wright State and Doyle (Rockies) as a fourth-rounder from NCAA Division II Shepherd (W.Va.). They're comparable hitters with Burdick possessing more power and Doyle owning more speed. This one is more of a tossup, but I'll side with Burdick because he has proven himself at higher levels in college and pro ball.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.